Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chicken Challenge Phase Three-More Cooking (Ellie's Pot Pie)

The same day that I let my friends and family know of this little blog, my friend Ellie sent me one of her favorite recipes.  I have been waiting for the perfect time to try it out and the Chicken Challenge was perfect. 

When I eat chicken pot pie there is something very heart warming and reminiscent of childhood. It is comfort food, the kind of food someone makes because they want to not just because they have to.  A pot pie takes time, preparation and the desire to make something that is just very good from very simple ingredients.  The vegetables float in a rich gravy that is studded with pieces of moist roasted chicken all wrapped in a crust that soaks up the flavors of each ingredient.  It is flexible in that each cook can use the ingredients he or she loves and no two pies will ever be exactly the same.   Like I did with the egg roll recipe yesterday, I am posting Ellie's recipe exactly as she gave it to me, and I will add my notes to at the bottom.  I hope you enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe Source: Ellie
Put 1 whole chicken in the crock pot all day. Let the chicken cool, take it out and remove all the meat from the bones and coarsely chop. Save the juices. Cut up about a cup of both celery and onions, saut√© these in a couple tablespoons of butter. Set Aside. In same pan melt about another 4 tablespoons of butter and add around 4 tablespoons of flour. Whisk together over medium heat stirring constantly. Slowly add milk, probably about 2 cups. Also add around a cup of the juices from the chicken. You will end up with a thick white sauce/gravy. Salt and pepper to taste as you go. It’s very easy to under season. Add the chicken, celery & onions, and throw in a bag of frozen veggies ( I usually put in mixed carrots, green beans, and corn). Preheat the oven to 350. Make or buy a pie crust and put in a pie pan…Pour your filling in and then put a crust on top. Poke a few holes in the top, cover with foil and bake for around 35-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown. It has a lot of butter in it, but it’s very easy and yummy! Sometimes I like to double the recipe and freeze one for later on…They freeze and re-bake very well.
**Cooks Note--I had to make some changes to this because I am working to stretch one whole chicken for multiple meals and also be cost effective.  I made the following changes with great success:

I used three cups of shredded chicken
1/2 bag of peas
2 chopped carrots
3 diced potatoes
1 yellow onion

I reduced the butter to 4 T for the whole recipe.  I used three cups of broth and 3/4 c of milk, and I made my own crust.  I baked my pie at 375 F for about an hour because it was cold from being in the refrigerator over night.

This recipe made two pies so I had one for the freezer and one for dinner.  Sadly, there were no left overs beause my husband and oldest son devoured every last crumb but two meals from one recipe still makes me happy.

Pie Crust for a double crusted pie
1 stick of butter
2 cups of flour
ice water

Cut the butter into the flour until evenly distributed.  Add ice water 1 T at a time until the dough comes together  (about 4-6T).  Form into a disc and refrigerate 30-40 minutes.  Divide in half and roll out.  Place crust in a pie pan, fill with desired filling and top with the second crust.

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